Best Museums in Europe for the Quintessential European Enlightenment

  • SEEMA NANDE
  • Oct 04, 2016
  • 2.4K Views
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Europe is undoubtedly the top vacation destination in the world. Given its rich culture and heritage, tourists flock to this beautiful continent to experience the European diversity. The museums stand as witnesses to eras bygone, giving you a deeper glimpse into the European history. From art to physics, these museums cater to all interests alike, irrespective of age. Well guided, well timed, and even well priced (sometimes free), there are plenty of tours to these museums to leave you enlightened and mesmerized. The number of museums can be overwhelming, and in case you are running out of direction, this list of handpicked best museums in Europe will guide you. 

1. The Louvre - The world’s largest museum

  

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Not only Europe’s largest museum but also the world’s, The Louvre needs no introduction. 35,000 items are showcased in the huge palace-converted-museum spanning across a massive 60,600 square meters. These artworks which are some of the most impressive throughout the world, provide the essential understanding of Europe’s history and culture. 
 
Where: Paris
Ideal duration of visit: 8 hours. Skip-the-line tours of Louvre  will save you long entrance queues. 
Ticket price for adults: €15.00 per person
Guide type: Audio tours, guided tours for first-time visitors to art experts
Best for: Families, art and history enthusiasts

2. The Anne Frank House - Life of a young girl during the Nazi Invasion

  

Image source: annefrank.org  

As a young girl, one of the most revealing, shocking and life-changing books that I ever read was the Diary of Anne Frank which accounts the life of a Jewish family in hiding during the Nazi invasion; the Anne Frank house is where one can live this book. Undoubtedly, this is one of the must-visit museums in Europe that display the memorabilia and collectibles of the Frank family. Through photographs, a film and the original diary of Anne Frank, the museum strikes the visitor and offers a touching experience. The family’s now-deserted, cramped hide-out of 2 years speak of terror, grief and still stands out as an example of hope, love and a spirit the Nazi couldn’t kill. 
 
Where: Amsterdam, Netherlands 
Ideal duration of visit: 2 hours
Ticket Price for adults: €8.5 per person
Guide Type: Guidebooks available
Best for: Family and Kids 

3. The British Museum - A foremost top museum in Europe

  

Image source: flickr.com/Ann Wuyts  

Showcasing a plethora of paintings, sculptures, antiquities and many other curiosities, the British Museum is one of the main highlights of London. These curiosities build up the whopping figure of 7 million collection pieces! Artifacts dating back to millions of years ago like the Rosetta Stone, a visit to this museum is uniquely enlightening. 
 
Where: London
Ideal duration of visit: The museum is vast and a day is not sufficient to cover the entire museum. However, if you can accommodate a quick visit in your itinerary, do not miss The Rosetta Stone, The Lewis Chessmen, The Mold Cape and The Oxus Treasure.
Ticket price for adults: Free 
Guide type: The audio guide is available in 10 languages
Best for: Human history, art and culture enthusiasts
 
Discover the Artifacts with these British Museum tours

4. Tate Modern - One of the best modern art museums in Europe

  

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Exhibiting a huge array of modern arts, the Tate Modern is a gallery, and part of the Tate institution that manages four British Museums. This is one place where you will find some of the most magnificent contemporary art in the world. Works of most celebrated artists like Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp and Mark Rothko are displayed here in the form of paintings and sculptures. 
 
Where: London
Ideal duration of visit: 2 hours
Ticket price for adults: Free 
Guide type: Self-guided tour
Best for: Modern art lovers 
 
Travelling to Europe on a budget? Here are some Free museums in Europe you must visit 

5. The Pompidou Centre - Best art museums in Europe

  

Image source: wikipedia.org  

A hub of abstract and expressionist art, The Pompidou Centre, Paris is home to the world's largest collection of contemporary art. Making it one if the best musea in Europe are its treasure trunks of artists like Pollock, Picasso, Dix, Duchamp and others’ works. Art work from as early as the 20th-century hoard this museum!
 
Where: Paris
Ideal duration of visit: Two hours. A guided 90-minute tour is what you sign up for after purchasing the ticket. However, the rest of the time is to settle in and out of the museum. 
Ticket price for adults: €14 per person
Guide type: Guided tour 
Best for: Art lovers

6. The Rijksmuseum - The heart of Holland’s history

  

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Dedicated to arts and history, The Rijksmuseum is a Dutch national museum. Founded in 1800, the museum is home to a collection of 1 million objects from the arts and history streams. These collectives have been gathered from the 1200’s to 2000’s! This is where you will find artifacts of the Dutch Golden Age. 
 
Where: Amsterdam
Ideal duration of visit: 3 hours
Ticket price for adults: €17.5 per person
Guide type: Guided by an art historian
Best for: Families
 
Take a look at best Rijksmuseum tours  to explore this vast national museum

7. The Museum del Prado - For the best collection of Spanish art

  

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Adorning this Spain’s treasure are paintings by innumerable masters. Paintings, sculptures, prints and several drawings adorn The Museum del Prado, along with some very important documents. You will get to see Las Meninas Velasques most famous painting here, which is one of the main reason that also made the single largest collection of Italian paintings outside of Spain too! The museum is rightly described as a museum of painters and not paintings. 
 
Where: Madrid
Ideal duration of visit: 3 hours
Ticket price for adults: €14 per person
Guide type: Guided tour and audio tour in other languages
Best for: Painting connoisseurs

8. Hermitage Museum - One of the largest and oldest museums in the world

  

Image source: wikimedia.org  

A museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, the Heritage Museum is one of the largest and oldest museums in the world. It is a must-see for all the first time visitors, given its beautiful collection of over 3 million items. 
 
Where: Saint Petersburg
Ideal duration of visit: 2 hours
Ticket price for adults: €8.5 per person
Guide type: Guided tour
Best for: Anyone

9. The Centre Pompidou Metz - Of Art, Architecture and More! 

  

Image source: wikipedia.org  

Home to the biggest collection of 20th and 21st century art, if you are an art lover visiting this museum, you are in for a treat. Spread over an enormous area of 5000 square metres, the building of the museum is the first thing that will strike you on your visit. A classic sample of modern architecture which in the shape of a hat presents a fantastic, quirky design that is considered to be one of the most intricate roof-designs in the world. Entering in the museum, you will be delighted to explore the art presented by local as well as international artists, thanks to the temporary and permanent exhibitions the museum houses. Famed as one of the most visited art and culture venues in France, you have to visit it to explore the hottest art of the 21st century! 
 
Where: Metz, France
Ideal duration of visit: 3 hours
Ticket Price for adults: 7 Euros
Guide Type: Guided Tours
Best for: Art Lovers, Modern-architecture enthusiasts 

10. The Serralves Museum - For Contemporary and Pop Art 

  

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A hotspot of contemporary art and architecture, this museum is one of the most renowned in Portugal and one of the best art museums in Europe. Part of a cultural institution of the same name, the museum specialises in temporary exhibitions that have excellent collection of pop art, contemporary art and culture. Through its thematic and monographic exhibitions, the museum collaborates with artists all over the world to present, what can be called as a spectacular collection! 
 
Where: Porto, Portugal 
Ideal duration of visit: 3 hours
Ticket Price for adults: €10 per person
Guide Type: Guided Tours
Best for: Modern Art Lovers

11. The Vatican Museum - Masterpieces of Michelangelo

  

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One of the most visited art museums in the world and top museum in Europe, The Vatican museums sees a crowd of 5 to 6 million every year and you have to see it to believe why it is so magnetic. Charming people for centuries, Vatican Museum displays the masterpieces of art master Michelangelo and overwhelming plethoras of beauty. Its magnificent ceilings and walls breathe the hard-word put in by the artists and 55 galleries showcase unmatched art pieces that are a landmark. Be here for the painting ‘The Last Judgement’ and your trip will be worth it! 
 
Where: Vatican City (Rome, Italy)
Ideal duration of visit: 4 hours
Ticket Price for adults: €16 per person
Guide Type: Audio Guide
Best for: Art Fanatics
 
Choose from the best Vatican Museums Tours   

12. The National Gallery - For quality and variety of art

  

Image source: wikipedia.org  

Housing the national collection of traditional Western European from the 13th to the 19th centuries. With an aim to study and care of the collection, the gallery aims to provide the widest accessibility. You will get to see works of famous artists like Claude Monet, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci amongst many others. A must-visit attraction of London, The National Gallery is a gem.
 
Where: London
Ideal duration of visit: 4 hours
Ticket price for adults: Free entry
Guide type: Guided tour
Best for: Families 

13. Uffizi Gallery - Where Leonardo Da Vinci meets Michelangelo 

  

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The premises of this art gallery were earlier used as an office and hence the gallery is named ‘Uffizi’. The gallery serves as one of the largest art collections of Italy and one of the most notable as well. If you are visiting the gallery in season, you can expect huge crowds and an approximate waiting period of 5 hours to admire the paintings of this art hub. Known for extraordinary paintings by Michelangelo, the gallery exhibits masterpieces of artists like Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Hugo van der Goes, Giovanni Bellini, Francisco Goya, Pieter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Parmigianino, Giotto and Sandro Botticelli. 
 
Where: Florence, Italy
Ideal duration of visit: 6 hours
Ticket Price for adults: €19 per person
Guide Type: Audio Guide
Ideal for: Classic Art Lovers

14. Musée d'Orsay - The World of Van Gough

  

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A railway station till the 1960’s, this museum houses fantastic pieces of French art varying from paintings, sculptures, photographs and furniture that explicitly display the impressionist and post-impressionist art forms. This includes the work of excellent artists like Van Gough which make it one of the most sought-after and largest art museums in the world. The building, which stands on the banks of River Seine in Paris, is in itself a masterpiece to observe! 
 
Where: Paris, France
Ideal duration of visit: 3 hours
Ticket Price for adults: €11 per person
Guide Type: Audio Guide
Ideal for: French Art
 
Explore the largest art museums in the world with these tours of Musee D'orsay

15. Acropolis Museum - Standing the Test of Time

  

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Time travel to the Greek Bronze age, Acropolis Museum focuses on the interesting findings in the archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Athens. Exhibiting 4000 objects that date back to the Greek Bronze age, Roman Era or the Byzantine Greek era, this museum is a favourite among history and archaeology enthusiasts. What makes this museum a landmark in itself is the fact that it is built on an ancient site where the excavations took place. Visit the Acropolis museum and you will be amazed to know how much a broken, restored piece of sculpture can speak! 
 
Where: Athens, Greece 
Ideal duration of visit: 2 hours
Ticket Price for adults: €5 per person
Guide Type: Audio Guide
Ideal for: History and Archaeology lovers
 
A visit to either of these European museums is certain to leave you enlightened on the beauty of European history and culture, from centuries ago. 
 
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Featured image source: pixabay.com
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SEEMA NANDE SEEMA NANDE

A deep-dyed Piscean, Seema is a dreamer. This extends to the fact that she is seldom in another world of her's or dreaming of the place she would rather be. A wild-child at heart and a keen observer otherwise, Seema's free-spirited psyche is eternally quenching for new experiences. There is no poison for her as restorative as Life, she is the one who will give you the cliched 'I-am-high-on-life', should you offer her a drink. She gets hungover on the feel of a new place, food and conversations with strangers! All this adding to the way she feels and writes!

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